Fathers have the last decades been under growing pressure to conform to new family and gender values promoting ‘democratic’ and ‘caring’ fatherhoods, and the societal push for a reconstitution of the family has influenced men’s lifestyles, family lives and identities in many places. How do children experience and narrate their fathers’ multifaceted position in the family in the context of a small-scale island community in transition? This seminar, based on a study from the Faroe Islands, discusses the father and the father-child relationship from the perspective of young people from Torshavn. The Faroese father is sometimes exoticized as an icon of something ‘authentic’ in a globalising world, but he is also, in the everyday life of the modern family, presented as the (handy)man struggling to find the perfect balance between being at home and being away.


Firouz Gaini is professor of anthropology and research leader at the Department of History and Social Sciences, University of the Faroe Islands. He studies in Oslo, Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands. His research has focused on young people’s everyday lives, lifestyles, identities, and future perspectives in Arctic, Nordic and small island settings. He has done research on gender (men and masculinities) and family relations (fatherhood) in the Faroe Islands and other North Atlantic communities. Firouz has done fieldwork in the Faroes, Greenland, France and Japan. He is co-editor of the volume “Gender and Island Communities” (Routledge 2020). He is involved in the international research project ‘Valuing the past – Sustaining the future’ (2016-2021) focusing on intergenerational relations, local knowledge and everyday lives in coastal communities.